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Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

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Postby tcward » Sun Apr 24, 2005 6:51 am

It kind of bothers me that this article treats 'texting' as an extension of e-mail. To me, those are totally different things.

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:54 am

Gailr and Katy, I hope the two of you enjoyed playing fancy free with my feelings of inadequacy ! What's the name of that computer language - or do I just need a new pair of reading glasses ?...

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Postby KatyBr » Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:41 pm

Henri, perhaps you need new glasses too?

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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:04 pm

I don't know, Katy - the right earpiece on the ones I'm using now has been held to the frame with a twisted paper clip for the last six months, so maybe I am due....

Henri
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Postby gailr » Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:16 pm

Tim
It kind of bothers me that this article treats 'texting' as an extension of e-mail. To me, those are totally different things.

Yes, they are. But--and I am going to wildly generalize here--people who equate writing with email are disproportionately present in the younger, techno-savvy crowd. There the distinction blurs between email and texting (where there is some justification for abbreviations and cute little constructions). Misspellings and strange grammatical constructions proliferate and are institutionalized on the web, where people "get their information". As an example, how many bb messages have you seen perpetrated (as opposed to composed) by someone whose grasp of his or her native language seems tenous at best? This style becomes the mental template for "grammar", and is carried into classroom, business, and (my favorite) Outraged Letters to the Editor writing. "If u what, i ken pervide akshual eksampels off ppl who suond stupid B/C they nevir lerned there own langwej! Rite yure represennative and let them no yure belefes!"

This pervasive free-for-all with spelling and grammar indicates an increasing percentage of the population is unfamiliar with the literature and general knowledge of its own culture (let alone "foreign" histories). Therefore, this population is essentially illiterate, both literally and culturally. As literacy is critical to high scores on most tests of intellectual ability and progress, there is some merit in the conclusions of this study.

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Postby Flaminius » Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:15 pm

Gailr, could you care to provide any numerical indicators that illeteracy is on the increase as more people get accustomed to type instead of to write? Your arguments are not unfamiliar in this side of the Pacific. But the problem is always to provide plausible data.

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Postby KatyBr » Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:31 pm

Gailr, in that case someone is confusing intelligence which is <<potential>> and ignorance, Learning incorrectly is annoying to those Who KNOW better. I have a lady in my freecycle group who writes in text, "I hav babe cloths to gif if ur frst caller want em." Most annoying to some. (read;me) she looks to be incredibly stupid. but she's just a product of her age. Also I have a young friend in India who <texts> emails to me. Her English is great but the spelling/grammer is awful.

Henri, you sound like you might be a geek. Geeks are characterized as haveing weirdly modified glassses.

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Postby anders » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:07 am

I tried the quiz. Culture clash hits again. I had to guess quite a few times. "close down the email"? Why and how? How could it bother me between the times I go looking for it? "Where do you read the news? In the newspaper I buy from the corner shop" I, of course, get my paper delivered to me. "Your colleague breaks off in the middle of a meeting to answer a message on a Blackberry. What to do in this situation?" I am not sufficiently interested to try to find out what a Blackberry is, unless it's growing in my garden. "What is the longest you can last without checking your email?" Where's the "four weeks or more" box?

My score: "Your Luddite refusal to plug into modern communication techniques is putting you at a social disadvantage. You may be capable of complex thought, but you may also wind up with no one to share it with. No one is impressed that you can't access your voicemail. Try to keep up."

Do you think that I refuse modern means of communication? My post count (a total of some 2500 since April last year when I discovered fora) sez no. Well, I don't know what voicemail means, but I don't think it could beat my telephones plus e-mail combo for my needs.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:52 am

I agree with Anders that tests of this type are idiotic, but I confess that I found this one - despite, or perhaps, due to a lack of pre-programmed responses that would adequately describe my situation - diverting. And the answer I received - that only coffee, which I don't drink, was holding my brain together was no less so. But to get serious, perhaps I really should cut back on email and the web, and instead go over to television. At least, that would seem to be the conclusion to be drawn from this article, published in yesterday's New York Times, but alas, at five pages, somewhat too long to reproduce in full here. My only question would be if it is OK to read a - suitably complex - book instead, but I presume that pasttimes of that type don't contribute sufficiently to raising the GNP....

Henri

PS : Anders, I confess that to answer the query, I first had to google that «Blackberry» (if I understand aright, a glorified mobile telephone) in order to understand what was being asked....
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Postby KatyBr » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:17 am

My computer's in the shop and with the snow we're having, I can't 'garden', tv is awful lately, so I'm back to *READING*
I haven't had the time for that in the last few years since I got my first pc, (has it really been nearly 10 years?)

Katy
Oh yeah, I'm using my huibby's pc. But not all that much.
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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:55 am

What are you reading, Katy ? Anything you'd like to recommend ? (And by the way, thanks for answering my (unasked) question as to what happens with our titles when we come over 300 postings - nothing ! Guess I'll have to wait until you get to 500 to draw any conclusion as to whether there is a life after «Lexiterian»....)

Henri
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Postby KatyBr » Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:29 pm

Someone gave me a couple of fluff murder mysteries, I went thru' both on the weekend. Now I have a quilting book to check out. And a Decorating book. Nothing you'd be interrested in...
As soon as I get my pc back we're getting cable so I'll be too busy building websites to come in here as much so you may reach 500 first.

Katy
In the bottom of the bag was a good book tho' The Confessor by Daniel Silva. In light of current events it's very interesting, I don't read much fiction.
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Postby gailr » Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:57 am

could you care to provide any numerical indicators that illeteracy is on the increase as more people get accustomed to type instead of to write? Your arguments are not unfamiliar in this side of the Pacific. But the problem is always to provide plausible data.
Sorry, Flam, I have no scientific data, only observation (my own and others'). Also, I'm not so sure it's typing that's the problem, as term papers and (conventional) books are typed or typeset to ensure legibility. IMHO [even curmudgeons use these abbreviations :wink:] it's a combination of failure to learn the building blocks of one's native language, not recognizing that casual language or slang used in one's social group is not appropriate across the board, typing faster than the brain can process what's on screen before pounding that "send" button, and indifference to spelling and grammar checking aids. Here and here are related essays. Forsaken Geographies Cyberspace and the New World 'Other' is an interesting piece on the effects of illiteracy at its most basic levels.

Gailr, in that case someone is confusing intelligence which is <<potential>> and ignorance, Learning incorrectly is annoying to those Who KNOW better. I have a lady in my freecycle group who writes in text, "I hav babe cloths to gif if ur frst caller want em." Most annoying to some. (read;me) she looks to be incredibly stupid. but she's just a product of her age. Also I have a young friend in India who <texts> emails to me. Her English is great but the spelling/grammer is awful.
I phrased my comments in terms of scoring high on tests, as I am aware of the difference between a test score and intelligence (whether potential or developed towards an area which a given test does not address).

There is also quite a difference in what can be expected of people who have been "educated" yet have no idea how to express their thoughts in their native language, and those who make mistakes in the process of learning a second language.

Your comment that the young woman in your example is "a product of her age" supports my theory that this is a chronic problem among young people who graduated from high school yet are essentially illiterate. Are they actually "stupid"? Probably not, but they're not bothering to provide any evidence to the contrary, are they? Will they perform well on any sort of standardized test (let's include job applications in that category)? Probably not. As someone who might be hiring or training such people, I cannot waste the company's time and money on a trial period to determine whether they are: ignorant (but may be capable of learning rudimentary communication skills); learned incorrectly (but may be able to unlearn and relearn); or just unwilling to adapt to appropriate communication styles for different settings (in which case they may not be receptive to any job training or performance expectations). People form judgements based on appearance and communication; that those judgements may be faulty doesn't prevent them. Choosing to flout any convention in dress, behavior or speech is a "right" (and certainly makes the world a more interesting place) but the the flouter can hardly be surprised when viewed as outside the "norm".

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Postby astrokatastro » Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:17 am

I don;t have problem. I have low I.Q. :D
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Postby tcward » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:30 am

Gailr:
Are they actually "stupid"? Probably not, but they're not bothering to provide any evidence to the contrary, are they?


:lol: I couldn't help but laugh as I read this. Almost every day at work, I start off with what I consider a "clean slate" -- with the attitude that, yes, although yesterday and the countless days before have been difficult, what with dealing with people who evidently don't care to hide their stupidity, today will be different. I'm not going to start my day with the discrimination brought on by my yesterdays.

But every day it's the same.

I guess the fact that I can totally relate to your statement makes me a curmudgeon, too...?

-Tim ;)
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